A long-awaited announcement of development plans for the often controversial Roos building will be made at a “press conference” on June 15, according to Oak Park based architect John Schiess.
Schiess said he and Mayor Anthony Calderone will unveil plans for the project at that time. He said that the public, as well as local and city media, will be invited to attend. A time has not yet been finalized.
Schiess said that though there has not yet been a closing on the property, he “fully expects” the deal to be finalized before the announcement. He declined to provide a purchase price, stating that this would be addressed at the “press conference.”
The village had the property at Circle Avenue and Harrison Street appraised at $2.3 million as a residential property and $1.3 million as an industrial property last year.
Previous developer Patrick Wangler, whose own plans for a four building, 132 unit development on the property never got off the ground after he purchased the land in 2004, had reportedly been asking as much as $3.75 million for the property.
Schiess said that the idea of a joint announcement with the village was proposed as a “gesture for the village to say ‘we have vetted these guys’ and to ensure that the next developer is successful.”
“We’ve gone through a long vetting process to make sure everything is pretty much buttoned up before we move forward,” he said. “We’ve addressed planning issues, traffic, density, height, parking, and constructability.
Schiess said he is hoping for a relatively quick and painless approval process with the Zoning Board of Appeals and Plan Commission, and emphasized his willingness to “take a very broad and comprehensive approach with neighborhood input.”
He declined to get into any specifics regarding his plans, but did confirm reports that he planned to keep the currently existing building in tact for conversion into lofts and add other structures in the surrounding area to be used for townhouses.
“We’re going to spend a lot of money rejuvenating the interior and exterior [of the existing building],” said Schiess.
Though Schiess would not confirm or deny the number of units, Calderone has previously said that the plans call for 102 units which will sell in the upper $300,000s.